Opening remarks by Takeshi Nakane
Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary
Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna
Delivered at the Seminar on Global Nuclear Fuel Supply

Monday 26th January 2009

Excellencies, Distinguished colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to welcome so many participants from IAEA Member States to this Seminar on Global Nuclear Fuel Supply and to thank you for taking the time to join us today. I would also like to thank our panel speakers, most of whom have traveled to Vienna from abroad, for joining us and for agreeing to share their knowledge with us. I very much look forward to our sessions and fruitful discussions throughout the day.

Given the fact that a significant number of Member States are considering to introduce or expand nuclear power generation, it is only natural that many countries are keen on the topic of nuclear fuel supply. On the other hand, we are fully aware of the diversity in views among Member States. Fully taking into account the various views on this matter, we organized this seminar so that it can serve as a forum for fact-finding and information-sharing on various topics related to all phases of the whole front-end of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Issues ranging from mining to utility will be discussed today, and we are very pleased to have among us such a talented and experienced pool of experts from international organizations as well as from the private sector, who will greatly contribute to the discussions by presenting information and facts relating to front-end issues and the worldwide fuel market. All of you gathered here are certainly experts on nuclear issues, but I am sure that we can learn a lot from today's presentations and discussions, since the speakers have in-depth knowledge and first-hand experience on the reality of the fuel market.

It is not the purpose of today's Seminar to discuss "assurance" proposals, although we will briefly explain our proposal on fuel assurance at the end of the Seminar. Instead, we hope that the Seminar will help all of us to better understand the current situation and future prospect of the front-end phases of the nuclear fuel cycle, so that future discussions on assurance-related issues will be conducted based on an informed understanding of the fuel market. This is why this Seminar is entitled "Global Nuclear Fuel Supply" and not "Nuclear Fuel Supply Assurance".

Following each presentation we will open the floor for a question & answer session. At the end of the day, there will also be a concluding discussion. As the primary aims of today's meeting are facts-finding and information sharing, we do not intend to issue a Seminar summary or conclusion. All materials presented today will be made available to participants as well as to the public through the websites of both the IAEA and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Catering arrangements have been made, and we would be delighted if you could all join us for a buffet lunch in the VIC restaurant from 12:30 until 13:30, and a cocktail reception this evening following the final session.

Finally I would like to thank the IAEA Secretariat for their help in the planning and organization of this Seminar, and for providing us with such an excellent venue and invaluable logistical support.

I look forward to the day ahead, and hope that this Seminar will provide an opportunity for you to conduct informative and lively discussions. On that note I would now like to open the Seminar with our first session on background information on front-end issues.

Thank you very much.

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